Saturday, October 31, 2009

Joyeux Halloween!

Some Halloween creepiness from the cemetery of Montmartre and Mont Saint Michel. Have a good one!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I wish you could try this...

Tarte aux pommes et fruits rouges streusel (apple and red fruit streusel tart) from here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I'm spending this dreary, rainy evening in Paris curled up under lots of blankets and drinking tea, attempting to write a paper on Louis XIV and royal propaganda. As fascinating as that subject is I find myself very easily distracted, and instead of getting work done I've been coveting this beautiful house in Normandy from this month's Elle Decoration.

The view!  The window seat!  The giant lamp!  Sigh.

Ok, back to work now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good morning, Paris

My first glimpse of sunrise as I stepped out of the metro on the way to class, near Place de la Concorde and the Madeleine.

Window Shopping: Colette, rue Saint-Honore

So random and hilarious. If I'm in the area I usually try to swing by Colette - it's always worth the few extra blocks just to see their crazy window displays. It's also a great people-watching spot.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Breakfast in America

I went to this diner-style restaurant Friday night with some friends for a much needed taste of home.  Burgers, fries, milkshakes, and breakfast food all day long, plus Bruce Springsteen playing in the background and American football on TV. It was great. And interestingly enough, full of French people, with a line out the door.

And yes, that is a frequent diner card.  I'm feeling slightly ashamed over this, but not enough to keep me from going back for more stamps.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Green Space

Strolling around Montmartre.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

By the way...

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the amazing-ness that is Nutella?

[photo via flickr]
Nutella-banana crêpes are officially the best thing ever. Just want to put that out there.

Fashion Week Encounter

B and I were in the Tuileries garden two weekends ago when we stumbled upon a mass of fashion-y people with big expensive cameras all standing around waiting for something. My first guess was "hipster photographer convention?" but then I realized, oh, right, it's fashion week!

A few minutes later - total chaos as models and other important-looking types poured out of a big white tent nearby and the paparazzi scrambled to get their shots. And then we saw him. Weaving through the crowd, discretely snapping photos, impeccably dressed - it was none other than Scott Schuman, a.k.a The Sartorialist. Yes, ladies and gentleman, my first minor celebrity sighting in Paris! Now that I've seen him in action, my obsession with Scott's work has only increased - his images are incredible and he does it all without any kind of studio or lighting set-up.

Thanks to B for this photo of The Sartorialist with the equally stylish Garance Doré (and thanks for the shout-out, too!).
The best part - we saw them again less than half and hour later at Colette, completely by accident! We had no idea he was doing a book signing that day. The line was ridiculously long so we left, but B snagged me a signed copy last week at the Dublin book signing.

And finally some recent images from The Sartorialist blog, one from Paris and one from Dublin. And B, the redhead is for you. You're welcome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Monday!

I've got some work I need to catch up on today, but I just wanted to give you a quick peek at what I was up to this weekend. There's more to come later, and in the meantime I hope you're having a good start to the week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sounds of the City

the bells of Notre Dame + very impatient drivers

Afternoon light

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You mean the honeymoon has to end?

I'm sorry I've been a little behind on posting lately - things have gotten a little hectic around here what with real classes starting and all that fun stuff. I think I have also officially entered the second phase of culture shock. Before I left for Paris, whenever I heard the study abroad counselors or my French professors talk about culture shock phases my only thought was, yeah, sure, but how can you turn something so personal and abstract into a simple formula? There's no way everyone experiences things that way.


After being here for a little more than a month, I am a believer. Here's a brief description of how I've been feeling lately, courtesy of Wikipedia:

After the end of the "Honeymoon Phase," when every new experience is amazing and life is just generally peachy (oh Honeymoon Phase, where have you gone? you were so much fun!), one moves into the "Negotiation Phase." During this time, "differences between the old and new culture become apparent and may create anxiety. One may long for food the way it is prepared in one's native country, may find the pace of life too fast or slow, may find the people's habits annoying, disgusting, irritating, etc. This phase is often marked by mood swings caused by minor issues or without apparent reason. This is where excitement turns to disappointment and more and more differences start to occur. Depression is not uncommon."  Lovely.

As I was reading this the other day - a particularly blah day when I was in desperate need of confirmation that I am not in fact going crazy - in my head I was saying, Yes! Yes! Mood swings without apparent reason? Why, I'm having one this very minute, how did you know? And you're right, I do miss food the way it's prepared in my native country! (Seriously, I would kill for a real cheeseburger right now. Ooh, better yet, really spicy tacos with lots of guacamole. Or pancakes and bacon with maple syrup...ok, stopping now.)

So as I await the third and final phase, "Adjustment" (the existence of which I am not yet entirely convinced, by the way), I am trying to take things one day at a time. And on those days when nothing is going right, it helps to focus on the little things that I love about Paris. Such as this lovely creation, the chausson aux pommes, which literally means "apple slipper" but is otherwise known as heaven wrapped in pastry dough:

And this stays just between you and me, but for the really, really bad days there's always Starbucks. I know, I know, but sometimes a little bit of home is the only thing that can beat the culture shock blues.

Goodness, that was a lot of rambling, wasn't it? If you've made it all the way to the end of this post I'd like to congratulate you on your perseverance. Hopefully you aren't bored to tears, and if you are, you have my permission to stop reading this and go do something more interesting. Really.